Biofuels Biotechnology: Advancing biological production of fuels

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Biofuels Biotechnology – Biotechnology is a wide field of biology that involves the creation or manufacture of goods using living systems and organisms. It often intersects with similar scientific fields, depending on the methods and applications used.Biotechnology has grown to include modern and complex sciences such as genomics, recombinant gene techniques, applied immunology, and the advancement of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.Karl Ereky coined the word “biotechnology” in 1919 to describe the process of creating goods from raw materials with the help of living organisms. (see at wikipedia)

Biofuels Biotechnology

Biotechnology for Biofuels focuses on the following areas:

Anaerobic digestion of waste

What is Anaerobic Digestion?

Anaerobic digestion is a method of breaking down organic matter, such as animal or food waste, to create biogas and biofertilizer. An anaerobic digester is a sealed, oxygen-free tank where this process takes place in the absence of oxygen.

Biofuels Biotechnology: Advancing biological production of fuels

Anaerobic digestion occurs naturally in some soils and sediments from lakes and ocean basins, where it is known as “anaerobic action.”
Alessandro Volta discovered this source of marsh gas methane in 1776.

Anaerobic digestion is one of the best strategies for food waste recycling and coping with agricultural waste and sewage sludge, according to the government, Defra, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, Friends of the Earth, and the National Farmers Union.

The term anaerobic literally means “without oxygen.” The biogas generated naturally in the sealed tanks is used as a fuel in a CHP unit to generate renewable energy, such as electricity and heat.

The result is a nutrient-rich biofertilizer that is pasteurized to destroy any bacteria before being stored in large covered tanks and applied twice a year to farmland in place of fossil-fuel-derived fertilizers.

One of the many advantages of anaerobic digestion is that it prevents between 0.5 and 1.0 ton of CO2 from entering the environment for every ton of food waste recycled as an alternative to landfill.

Bacterial and fungal/yeast genetics, physiology, and metabolic engineering

Microbial fuel and chemical processing from renewable carbohydrate feedstocks is a safe and cost-effective alternative to petroleum-based production.Biofuels Biotechnology: Advancing biological production of fuelsAs a platform cell factory for such applications, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a number of advantages. This yeast is simple to genetically modify, its physiology, metabolism, and genetics have been extensively studied, and its robustness allows it to withstand harsh industrial conditions. It has also been used on a large scale for bioethanol production.Metabolic engineering is increasingly expanding the spectrum of cell-factory applications by introducing new pathways and optimizing native cellular processes.

Biohydrogen and bioelectricity (fuel cells)

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have recently received a lot of publicity due to their low operating temperatures and ability to use a variety of biodegradable substrates as fuel.

Microbial fuel cell as new technology for bioelectricity generation: A review
Microbial fuel cell as new technology for bioelectricity generation: A review

There are single chamber MFCs as well as conventional MFCs with anode and cathode compartments. Bioelectricities are generated when microorganisms actively catabolize substrate. MFCs can be used as a power source in small devices including biosensors.

Biological and chemical upgrading of biomass sugars, lignin and other biomass-derived intermediates

 

Production of hydrocarbon fuel from biomass‐derived lignin sources with current vision of biorefinery infrastructure would significantly improve the total carbon use in biomass and make biomass conversion more economically viable. Thus, developing specialty and commodity products from biomass derived‐lignin has been an important industrial and scientific endeavor for several decades.

Biomass pretreatment, fractionation, and extraction

Bioprocess integration, biohybrid processes and technoeconomic analysis

Integrated bioprocesses have been developed to optimise yield and cost-effectiveness of production of low and high molecular weight molecules. Low molecular weight products are removed from the cultivation medium with in situ extraction, in situ adsorption or crystallisation to avoid product inhibition.

Technoeconomic assessment or technoeconomic analysis (abbreviated TEA) is a method of analyzing the economic performance of an industrial process, product, or service. It typically uses software modeling to estimate capital cost, operating cost, and revenue based on technical and financial input parameters.

Cell free and immobilized enzyme processes

Development of terrestrial plant and algal feedstocks

Enzyme engineering, production, and analysis

Enzymes, also known as biocatalysts, are commonly used in a variety of industrial processes, especially in the production of bulk chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Enzyme engineering is the method of modifying an enzyme’s amino acid sequence in order to improve its performance or formulate a more advanced enzyme activity.

This technology has grown in popularity as a means of overcoming the limitations of native enzymes as biocatalysts. The two main methods in enzyme engineering are rational design and guided (molecular) evolution. To increase enzyme performance, genetic engineering techniques are commonly used.

Fermentation, biocatalytic conversion, and reaction dynamics

Life cycle assessment and environmental impact analysis